California Senate Bill No. 1343 requires that all employers with 5 or more employees provide sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention training to both nonsupervisory and supervisory employees once every two years. The first training deadline is January 1, 2021 which was previously extended through Senate Bill No. 778. For more information about Senate Bill 778, see our blog post.

Which Employers must Comply?

An employer is required to train its California-based employees so long as it has 5 or more employees worldwide.

Which Employees Must Receive Training?

California law requires employers with 5 or more employees to provide:

  • Supervisory Employees: 2 hours of interactive training by January 1, 2021, and every 2 years thereafter.
    • Supervisors: A supervisor is anyone with authority or the authority to effectively recommend the hire, fire, assignment, transfer, discipline, or reward of other employees.
  • New Supervisors: Must complete training within 6 months of assuming their supervisory position.
  • Non-supervisory Employees: 1 hour of interactive training by January 1, 2021, and every 2 years thereafter.
  • Seasonal or temporary employees: 1 hour of interactive training within 30 days or 100 hours after hire, whichever comes first. Employers are not required to train employees who are employed for fewer than 30 calendar days and work for fewer than 100 hours.
    • For employees hired via a temporary service employer, it is the temporary service employer’s responsibility to provide the requisite sexual harassment training.

Do employers need to train independent contractors, volunteers, and unpaid interns?

No, employers are not required to train independent contractors, volunteers, and unpaid interns. However, it is important to note that when determining whether an employer meets the 5 employee threshold (to determine whether an employer must comply), independent contractors, volunteers, and unpaid interns must be counted toward the employer’s headcount. For example, if an employer has 2 full time employees and 6 unpaid interns, the employer would need to comply with the regulation.

Are there Specific Training Content Requirements?

Yes. Senate Bill 1343 requires that the training be interactive and it must cover information and practical guidance regarding federal and state law concerning the prohibition against, and the prevention and correction of, sexual harassment and the remedies available to victims of sexual harassment. The training must also include practical examples of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation as well as information about preventing abusive conduct and harassment based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.

Can the Training be Provided Virtually?

Yes. The regulation allows for training to occur live in a classroom, online, or in “any other effective, interactive format.” Training may be completed by employees individually or as part of a group presentation and may be completed in segments as long as the total hourly requirement is met.

If an Employer Provided Training in 2019 will they be Compliant?

Yes. An employer that provided proper sexual harassment training in 2019 will be compliant with the training requirements and is not required to provide training again for two years.

Are there any Notice Posting Requirements?

Yes. Employers must provide employees with a poster or fact sheet developed by DFEH regarding Sexual Harassment, or equivalent information.

What are the Recordkeeping Requirements?

The law requires employers to keep documentation of the training for a minimum of two years, including but not limited to the following:

  • the names of the supervisory employees trained;
  • the date of training;
  • the sign in sheet;
  • a copy of all certificates of attendance or completion issued;
  • the type of training;
  • a copy of all written or recorded materials that comprise the training; and
  • the name of the training provider.

Documentation of the training should not be sent to DFEH but should be kept on the employer’s premises.

Sequoia Clients Only: Sequoia assists clients to meet their training requirements by partnering with ThinkHR to bring you access to various state-wide harassment prevention training programs and resources. Please reach out to your dedicated Sequoia representative for more information.

Additional Resources

Disclaimer: This content is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, medical or tax advice. It provides general information and is not intended to encompass all compliance and legal obligations that may be applicable. This information and any questions as to your specific circumstances should be reviewed with your respective legal counsel and/or tax advisor as we do not provide legal or tax advice. Please note that this information may be subject to change based on legislative changes. © 2020 Sequoia Benefits & Insurance Services, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Lizet Ramirez – Lizet is a Client Compliance Manager for Sequoia One, where she works with our clients to optimize and streamline benefits compliance. In her free time, Lizet enjoys live music, travel, hiking and spa days.